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You define life or it defines you.

In Shawn Speakman's case, it was both.

Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That's when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story that Shawn could sell tohelp alleviate those bills--and suggested he ask the same of his other writer friends.

Unfettered is the result: an anthology built in order to relieve that debt, featuring short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the genre.

Twenty-three tales comprise this incredible collection, and as the title suggests, the writers were free to contribute whatever they wished.

Here is the table of contents:

- Foreword by Patrick Rothfuss
- Introduction: On Becoming Unfettered
- Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks
- How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
- Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
- The Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey
- Mudboy by Peter V. Brett
- The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian
- The Coach with Big Teeth by R.A. Salvatore
- Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood
- Heaven in a Wild Flower by Blake Charlton
- Dogs by Daniel Abraham
- The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne
- Select Mode by Mark Lawrence
- All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
- Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth
- Nocturne by Robert V.S. Redick
- Unbowed by Eldon Thompson
- In Favour with Their Stars by Naomi Novik
- River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
- The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan
- The Duel by Lev Grossman
- Walker and the Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks
- The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman

With the help of stalwart friends and these wonderful short stories, Shawn has taken the gravest of life's hardships and created something magical. Unfettered is not only a fantastic anthology in its own right, but it's a testament to the generosity found in the science fiction and fantasy community--proof that humanity can give beyond itself when the need arises.

After all, isn't that the driving narrative in fantasy literature?

Product Details

BN ID: 2940016508696
Publisher: Shawn Speakman
Publication date: 06/21/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 573
Sales rank: 34,653
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Shawn Speakman is the editor of UNFETTERED. He currently lives in Seattle, WA. When he isn’t slaving away at others’ behests, he can be found wrestling with words and purveying lies and dreams. He is the author of The Dark Thorn.

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Unfettered 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Buck_Thunderstud More than 1 year ago
Shawn Speakman sought the help of friends, both unknown and the kings of the science fiction and fantasy genres, and asked for help.  The book was created with the idea of helping with his medical bills.  It is an anthology of short stories. But that is where UNFETTERED gets interesting.  See, unlike most short story collections, this book has one major difference - no theme.  The authors were free to write what they wanted.  The end result couldn't have been better. Every turn of the page brought something new.  Each author contributed greatness, be it stories that led to a series (Terry Brooks), another random short staring their series characters (Michael Sullivan, Naomi Novik, Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson), the first attempts at a story from a talented artist (Todd Lockwood), to completely random shorts that, while odd, flowed incredibly.  Every story clocked in around 30 pages or less...but the passion and the skill of each author echoed through the pages.  I found myself stopping after each story and thinking about what I had just read. The stories are all about anything the author desired, and that caused me to slow down my reading.  Beautiful as each story was, the next page was going to be something completely different, and that took me out of my normal speed of reading.  But that isn't a criticism.  These pauses and the length of time I used to read this just made me appreciate it all the more. UNFETTERED left me happy, sad, angry, and hungry for more, a LOT more, from a lot of authors.  It increased the size of my to-read list by a considerable amount, and lead to a few books I've already purchased and hope to dive into very soon.  It was a book for a great cause, and beyond that, it will stand on my shelf as the book I will loan or recommend to anyone who wants to dip their toe into the world of science fiction and fantasy.  This book is a gateway drug, and if I wasn't already an addict, I'd be hooked now.
Maytushe_Tempoka More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories, not only does it support a good cause but it gives you a feel for several authors styles of writing. Not every story in here will be for everyone, but hopefully like me you'll walk away with a few new authors to add to your bookshelf.
Jesse_H More than 1 year ago
I love Terry Brooks, and Shawn's novel, "The Dark Thorn" was pretty good.  So i picked up this anthology and have been entertained by it.  I am not familiar with most of the authors, but i have been enticed by many new (to me) voices.
Skylinesend More than 1 year ago
The editor of this Anthology, Shawn Speakman, was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. Because he had no health insurance, Terry Brooks offered to give him a short story to help defray the medical costs. He also told Shawn that he should ask other authors to contribute to as well. This book is what came of that. I enjoyed this book, and the only story I disliked was the Rothfuss story, and that was surprising. It is a great way to find new authors, and help someone with crushing medical debt at the same time. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most of the short stories are good and some great. But some make zero sense or are just words thrown on paper for the authors delight. One could expect more from published authors. But overall 80% of the stories are good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the variety of authors Several of them I had never sampled their body of work I would highly reccomend this book to readers who are just beginning their journey into the world of science fiction/fantasy You get a wide variety in one book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Said all that needs saying already.
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BC1130 More than 1 year ago
There are some really good stories here and some not so good. I ask you to disregard the not so good and buy it for the good and for the good cause the proceeds are going to.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I understand lots of medical bills, I have MS and have had it for just over 2 years now so I'm still not used to seeing big bills. I am buying to support you and am going to spread the word of this book to everyone I know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shawn, I am sorry for what has happened. I will support this cause and spread the word about this book and do hope you will raise enough. Best of luck to you, Kenneth